By April 21, 2010 Read More →

Bill Criminalising FGM

On Wednesday 21st April, 2010 Senator Ivana Bacik will be introducing a Bill to prohibit Female Genital Mutilation in the Seanad during the Labour Party’s private members’ time.

In her response to the Labour bill, last night the Minister for Health and Children indicated that she is working on the development of a legal framework for the explicit prohibition of the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, and has indicated that the Labour bill may be read a second time in 12 months time.

Senator Bacik today welcomed the response from the Minister for Health and Children, but said she could not accept the delay of the bill for another year, saying:

“Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a practice which violates the human rights of girls and women, and causes long term physiological, sexual and psychological effects. It can cause death and has serious and permanent health implications.

“The Women’s Health Council, the HSE, and a whole range of NGOs have been involved on a Steering Group already to develop a national plan of action for Ireland to address FGM. Legislation to ban FGM was first passed in the UK in 1985.

“In the Dáil, Liz McManus TD introduced a bill to prohibit FGM in 2001, and last year Jan O’Sullivan TD also published similar legislation. We urgently need a law specifically criminalising this barbaric practice which has destroyed the lives of so many girls and women world-wide. I welcome the Minister’s commitment to address this issue, but there has already been a great deal of work done on developing a legal framework, and delaying the introduction of this legislation by another year is unacceptable.”

Cairde is on the National Plan of Action to Address Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Steering Committee

Posted in: Women's Health

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